Financial Stress Emerges as Key Trigger for Poor Mental Health in Australian Women

by Ella

On World Mental Health Day, alarming statistics have come to light, highlighting the profound impact of financial stress on the mental well-being of Australian women. More than half of Australian women report that escalating cost-of-living pressures are negatively affecting their mental health, while one-third find themselves unable to afford the necessary support and assistance.


These troubling findings, released by the Liptember Foundation, a prominent Australian non-profit organization dedicated to women’s mental health, underscore the pressing gender gap within the realm of mental health.


According to the Liptember Foundation’s 2023 Women’s Mental Health Research, a staggering 35 percent of respondents identified financial stress and the rising cost of living as triggers for depression, while 36 percent linked these pressures to anxiety.


Luke Morris, CEO and founder of the Liptember Foundation, expressed concern over the relentless cost-of-living crisis in Australia, emphasizing that women’s mental health is disproportionately affected. “Australian women are grappling with a mental health paradox due to the cost-of-living crisis,” Morris said. “Financial pressures are exacerbating women’s mental health challenges, yet an increasing number of those affected by mental health issues find themselves unable to access the vital help they urgently need.”


With no immediate relief from the soaring cost of living in sight, Morris predicted that women’s mental health would continue to suffer in the years ahead.

As the world observes World Mental Health Day on October 10, Morris urged everyone to assess progress in closing the gender gap in mental health. “We are committed to ensuring that the issue of mental illness remains in the forefront of public awareness throughout the year,” he emphasized. “Calendar events like World Mental Health Day serve as timely reminders and opportunities for us all to evaluate our advancements in this critical field.”

Morris also stressed the need to address the persistent barriers to seeking mental health support, including societal stigma and inadequate access to timely mental health resources.

The Liptember Foundation specializes in understanding the unique challenges faced by women that impact their mental health. Madhavi Nawana-Parker, a clinical psychologist and member of the foundation’s mental health advisory panel, highlighted the importance of this work.

“While mental health is significant for all genders, the Liptember Foundation plays a crucial role in shedding light on the mental health gender gap,” Nawana-Parker stated. “In my clinical practice, I often observe that the distinctive biological challenges and life experiences that women undergo can serve as triggers for mental ill-health.”

For example, more than half (55 percent) of women dealing with endometriosis also struggle with depression. Premenstrual dysphoric disorder (PMDD) affects one in five women and is linked to suicidal thoughts and self-harm. Additionally, nearly 25 percent of women experiencing vaginal issues grapple with social phobias.

Nawana-Parker emphasized that the foundation’s ongoing research and advocacy for women’s mental health, not just on specific days like World Mental Health Day but throughout the year, will contribute to closing the gender gap in mental health.

“This valuable information will guide Australia in adopting a gender-sensitive approach to mental health and ultimately eliminate the mental health gender gap,” she concluded.


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